In an arrangement that was struck between Rwanda, the UNHCR and the African Union in May, Kigali will receive 500 refugees and asylum seekers from Libya. By Fred Oluoch

 

 
The first batch of the 500 African refuges and asylum seekers from Libya arrive at Kigali International Airport on September 26, 2019. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA | NMG


 

Rwanda is in charge of the Emergency Transit Mechanism, while the AU is providing overall strategic and high-level political support, as well as advocacy.

The refugees from Libya hosted by Rwanda have the right to safe lives, access to medical care, school and work.

By offering to give refuge to African immigrants stuck in Libyan detention camps, the Rwanda government says it wants to show leadership by providing African solutions to African problems.

Elise Villechalane, the United Nations High Commission for Refugee external relations officer for Rwanda, told The EastAfrican that Rwanda’s gesture is a demonstration of sharing responsibility in order to protect people in need.

« The Emergency Transit Mechanism in Rwanda is an example of the kind of humanitarian interventions needed to rescue vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers who are caught up in the escalating conflict inside Libya, » she said.

 In an arrangement that was struck between Rwanda, the UNHCR and the African Union in May, Kigali will receive 500 refugees and asylum seekers from Libya. Ms Villechalane said this arrangement would enable the UNHCR to support more people.

 Rwanda is in charge of the Emergency Transit Mechanism, while the AU is providing overall strategic and high-level political support, as well as advocacy.

The UNHCR is bearing the cost of the evacuation flights, transport to the transit facility in Bugesera, the basic needs of protection and humanitarian assistance, while working on durable solutions.